Conférence de Whitney Trettien (University of Pennsylvania)

En collaboration avec le département de communication de l’Université de Montréal et nos membres Juliette de Mayer et Ghislain Thibault, notre centre est heureux d’accueillir Whitney Trettien pour sa conférence intitulée « The Deep History of Digital Encoding » :

The story of how the machines we now call “computers” emerged from government-funded research during World War II is well known. But before the mainframe computer could be built, inventors had to work out something more fundamental: how to encode text in electrical pulses and holes punched onto paper cards. In other words, they had to invent a new symbolic system of communication between humans and machines.

In this talk, I sketch the deep history of encoding text. Beginning with late eighteenth-century experiments in weaving and telegraphy, I trace the origins of binary encoding schemes to nineteenth-century innovations in the printing industry, especially to mechanical typesetting machines and printing techniques for the blind. As this history shows, industrial-era printing technologies, designed for European alphabets, nontrivially shaped early encoding schemes and still underlie digital textuality today.

Bio: Whitney Trettien is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches book history and digital humanities. Her first book is Cut/Copy/Paste: Fragments from the History of Bookwork (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), available both in print and staged digitally on the Manifold platform. She is currently working on the deep history of text encoding and a digital project on printing in prisons.

Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 25 avril 2024 à 16 h 15 min.